Death of Four and Injury of Nine Leads to Probation in Affluenza Case

One 16-year-old was involved in a drunk-driving accident that could have sent him to prison for 20 years. The collision killed four and injured several others. Instead, a judge ruled for 10 years of probation, asserting that the young man would not get the treatment or therapy he needed in prison. Some now claim that the lenient ruling was not made in just reference to the law, but in deference to the wealth of the teen’s family (a situation often dubbed “affluenza”).

The defense argued that the teen’s parents never taught him the connection between actions and consequences. He was not punished for anything he did, no matter how outrageous. According to a psychologist who testified for the defense, the young man could be most effectively rehabilitated with up to two years of treatment and no further contact with his parents. When the judge ruled accordingly, some in the courtroom objected that money and social position had seemingly skewed the case.

With a blood alcohol content of 0.24, the young man was traveling at 70 mph in a 40 mph zone on the day of the accident. Four people on the side of the road were killed, and nine others were injured when he plowed into them.

It’s a decision that left many people wondering about the fairness of the justice system. What do you think?

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